Lombardo kick leads to Rockhurst victory

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Rockhurst came out of the chase pack and ran down the victory in the boys 4 x mile in Friday’s Kansas Relays.

The Hawklets stayed in striking distance throughout the race, and anchor Alex Lombardo brought the relay team home with a necessary final lap of 65.79 to pull the team to a winning time of 18:31.

Lombardo, who has been battling an illness, looked drained after the race.

“I sat as long as I could, and when I saw an opportunity I tried to take off with everything I had. And it took everything,” Lombardo said. “Getting the handoff in second, I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

St. Joseph Central was runner-up in 18:34. The Indians moved into the lead briefly as Michael Lindsey passed the stick to anchor Brett Bachman, but he was not able to hold off the last-lap kick of Lombardo.

“I ran pretty terrible the first leg, and I was relying on the last three guys and they did a good job,” said Jeff Bachman, who led off for the Indians. “I knew they could do it, and they almost did.”

Fox led for the first half of the race and held on for third place in 18:39.

“Carrying that baton for a mile is tough,” Fox anchor Larry Lopez said. “It’s a lot harder because someone will get the baton in front of you and you have to try to work your way up. I didn’t want to catch up all at once. I was trying to reel him in, and as soon as I got to (Lombardo) he started to pull away again.”